Even before you start narrowing down your school choice, you must decide when is the right time to return for your MBA. Considering all the factors is critical to making the right choice.
Some people always knew they would go back for their MBA. Even as an undergrad, they were targeting and planning for their eventual return to the classroom. Other MBA hopefuls never even considered an MBA until they worked several years and either met someone who encouraged them to get it, or perhaps worked for someone or with someone who had their MBA which somehow inspired them to go back themselves.
The first think to consider when deciding when’s the right time to return to b-school is, do you have enough work experience. Work experience is probably the single largest hurdle in the admissions process. Schools will judge you not only by the number of years of post-undergraduate, professional experience you have, but also by the quality and rigor of that experience. Leadership experience in the workplace can be a real asset, so if you haven’t managed other people in your job(s), you might want to wait a little longer before applying.
Working for a fortune 50 company can also work in your favor, but not always.
Let’s break it down. Say you have three years of experience (a little light vs. the national average for MBA applicants), but you work for a large, publicly traded company. While this could look good to some schools, it really depends on the quality of your experience. If you remained in the same role for those three years, you may not impress the admissions committee vs. someone who worked for a lesser-known company but had progressively responsible experience. Moving forward in your career development is something schools will look for. If your job progression feels stagnant, you may want to kick things up a notch before applying.
Beyond work experience, there are myriad other things to consider including your financial situation, your personal situation and your post-MBA vision.
Maturity is important to admissions committees, and nothing screams immaturity like the inability to articulate why you want the MBA and what you plan to achieve with it.
If most of the factors seems to be falling into place, you’re probably a good candidate to at least explore going back now. We can help walk you through the options and will always give you an objective, realistic opinion about your candidacy.